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Gluten-free soda bread

Rice & millet soda bread

This is lovely bread with a soft golden brown crust.  It rises as well as any wheaten soda bread and looks and tastes pretty similar.  As I’m coeliac, when friends and relatives come to visit, I make this bread and we can all eat the same.  Everyone seems to like it.  You could use this mixture for scones too, by placing the mixture in very well-oiled muffin tins instead of a loaf tin.

325 ml/generous 1½ cups non-dairy milk (eg organic unsweetened soya, rice, almond or thin coconut milk (eg Koko brand). Dairy eaters can use buttermilk instead.
25g whole linseeds (also called flax seeds), soaked 2-3 hours or overnight in the milk above
75g millet flour (make this by blitzing millet flakes in the food processor) or potato flour
150g brown rice flour
75g millet flakes
25g rice bran
½ level tsp natural sea salt (eg. Atlantic/Maldon/Himalayan – other salts contain harmful additives)
1 rounded teaspoon bread/baking soda (ideally free from toxic aliminium, sometimes listed as flow agent or anti-caking agent – health stores sell good quality bread soda)
1 large organic egg, beaten or if avoiding egg use No-Egg Egg Replacer and make up according to manufacturers instructions
3 tbsp macadamia nut oil or olive oil if you can’t get macadamia
Optional: 1 tbsp sesame or poppy seeds to sprinkle on top
Tinfoil
1 loaf tin (about 1250ml) – this common size is about 11cm x 22cm x 8cm

1. Before you start, remember to soak the whole linseeds for 2-3 hours or overnight in the buttermilk.  This is crucial, otherwise the bread will not bind together.
2. Preheat oven to 190C/fan 175C//375F/Gas 5
3. Grease and bottom-line a loaf tin with baking parchment/silicon paper
4. Sieve the flours into a bowl and add the other dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Pour off a cupful of the buttermilk and reserve. Add the rest of the buttermilk with the flax (linseeds), oil and beaten egg to the dry ingredients.
6. Add enough of the reserved cupful of buttermilk to make a thick batter (sometimes the mix may take more liquid than at other times depending on the absorbency of the dry ingredients).  The mixture should be soft enough to pour into the tin (a bit wetter than queen cake mixture).  If you are using sesame or sunflower seeds, sprinkle them on top now.
7. Bake for about 1 hour.  Test after 50 mins with a metal skewer to ensure that it is done in the middle (the skewer will come out clean if it is done).  The bread will also shrink away a bit from the sides of the tin when cooked.
8. If the bread is getting too brown during baking, cover with a sheet tin foil.
9. Turn onto a wire tray to cool.

Variation:
You could also use buckwheat flakes or quinoa flakes instead of millet flakes.  Millet, rice, quinoa and buckwheat are all naturally gluten-free.

* although beneficial nut and seed oils are damaged by baking, whole linseeds/sesame seeds are too small for the body to break down.  This means they pass through the digestive system without their heat-damaged oils being digested either.  The soluble fibre in the linseeds does you good by absorbing water and emitting a gell that provides food for your body’s beneficial bacteria to help your health.

Why this bread is better for you:
This bread steers clear of the main four food allergens I encounter in my nutritional practice: gluten, dairy, yeast, and egg.  Whether you are intolerant/allergic to it or not, gluten binds to N-acetyl glucosamine in our gut and inactivates this healing nutrient.  That’s one reason why people adopting a gluten-free diet often get relief from digestive problems.   Food allergies are usually easy to detect because the symptoms come on within 2 hours.  This is different from food intolerances, where symptoms can take up to 48 hours to appear.   Food intolerances are a sign that your small intestine is a bit damaged and so undigested foods are getting into your bloodstream and causing your immune system to “over-react”.  Food intolerances are fixable by avoiding the food for a period and healing your gut using nutrition.

Millet is a grain that’s rich in magnesium, which you need to keep your mood chilled and your bowels and liver working well to remove toxins from your body.  Brown rice flour and millet are also of course, wholegrains, so they contain chromium and B vitamins, also needed for mood, energy, and great skin.   

Milk is a food that is great for stimulating rapid cell proliferation in babies and young animals.  Unfortunately it’s not such an appropriate food for adults because research suggests it can fuel serious diseases of the breasts and prostate.  .Although we do need calcium in our diet, non-dairy sources are more beneficial.  Dark green leafy veg, nuts & seeds (especially almonds and ground sesame seeds), bone-in tinned salmon and sardines and fermented soya products contain high levels of calcium.